How to Name a No. 1 Brand

Posted by Rob DeMars on 8/18/15 3:13 PM

Part 1 of The HurryCane Story; From Napkin to the No. 1 Selling Cane in America

How to Name a No. 1 Brand

What do all champion brand names have in common? They’re memorable, they make you feel something and you own it. Simple, right? Well, that’s the thing. If you’ve ever sat down and scribbled out some names, chances are you’ve run into a few roadblocks. It sounds boring. The URL is already taken. There’s no product association.

You are going to face these problems. Marketing Architects did. But it didn’t stop us from creating the most famous cane brand in history, the HurryCane. Even if you don’t have a team of 60+ linguists in more than 40 different countries to help you pick out the perfect brand name—ahem, Lexicon—here are a few key guidelines we followed to create the category-busting HurryCane.

  1. Pick a name that’s polarizing. Don’t go vanilla. I repeat: DON’T GO VANILLA. This is the time to really stretch your creative muscle and come up with a name that genuinely stands out in the category—disrupts it, even. It’s gotta be a little edgy, maybe even a little silly and something everyone’s not going to like.

    The medical device industry (specifically canes) never put much equity into its brand and product names, so Marketing Architects seized a golden opportunity to differentiate itself from the pack through branding. Still, we heard negative feedback about naming the brand HurryCane. People told us we can’t name a company after a natural disaster. The more polarizing the feedback, from love it to hate it, we knew we were onto a name that would be sticky.

    Here’s a good rule of thumb: if everybody loves the name, you aren’t trying hard enough.

  2. Decide what you want your brand name to mean. Most brand names have a story behind it. It all depends on what you want your brand to communicate. When picking out brand names, people often end up choosing one of four common types of names:

    Descriptive (or functional): This type of brand name usually relays what the company does or what the product is. (ex. Bath & Body Works)

    Invented: Brand names that are invented typically have no inherent meaning (outside of referencing the company) because they’re completely made up. However, they still have a way of making you feel something. (ex. Google)

    Evocative: This kind of brand name is born from the essence of the company or product, designed to paint an image for a consumer. (ex. Victoria’s Secret)

    Experiential: The goal of this kind of brand name is to connect the brand to the experience you’ll have with it. (ex. Facebook)

    HurryCane is an experiential brand name. We knew it would be important to convey the benefits of the brand and the experience people will have with it—mobility. We also wanted it to be memorable. So we thought about it; a hurricane is a force of nature, unstoppable. This cane will literally help people gain mobility again, so they can keep moving. The name definitely fit. And by using a play on words with “hurry,” we knew we could make it our own. Speaking of which…

  3. Own it. You’re going to want to choose a brand name that you can own, fully. Start by making sure the trademark for the name you chose is actually available. One great site for doing an initial screening is trademarkia.com. After that, you’ll definitely want to own the URL—considering a percentage of your customers will search for you by directly typing in a URL. Others will use a search engine, which is why it is also imperative you own the brand name in search. The wrong name can drive up your search cost pretty quickly, especially if your brand name contains keywords that get bid on aggressively. The less generic the name, the better your brand name’s chance of getting found organically as well.

So how does HurryCane measure up?

Marketing Architects’ unique approach to product naming gave HurryCane the highest unaided recall of any cane brand on the market. But industry stats aside, you know you made it when Jay Leno talks about it on The Tonight Show!

cane brands

The chart above is based on an unaided recall study by Millward Brown. The HurryCane was the No. 1 cane that came to mind, totaling 71 percent of responses. 

Do you already have a No. 1 brand name? Or do you have an amazing product that could use a name do-over? Either way it’s time to call Marketing Architects. We can help you bring the Next Big Thing to market using nearly 20 years of direct response marketing experience. Let’s talk today! 

Read more in our series about how Marketing Architects created the No. 1 selling walking cane in America:

Part 2 – How to Test Your Way to the Top

Part 3 – Why It Matters That Grandma's Shopping Online

Part 4 – 7 Ways to Tell Your Product's Ready to Scale

Part 5 – Amazon: A Business Owner's Friend of Foe?

Part 6 – Considering Scaling into Retail? 8 Ways to Do It Right

Part 7 – Entreprenuers: How to Say Goodbye to Your Product

Subscribe to our blog to receive future posts related to product development and direct response marketing.

Topics: Direct Response Marketing

Comments

Free Report
FREE SPECIAL REPORT

"Leveraging Offline Media for Explosive Online Growth"

Free Report

Schedule a Conversation

All in.  It’s all we know. Marketing Architects is the only direct response agency that bets on your growth. 

Give us a call at 800-700-7726 or fill out the form below and we'll get in touch with you shortly.

Featured Series

Subscribe to Blog